The mortgage industry has been quick to adapt to the technological revolution that has swept up the world. Within the current global pandemic, this adaption has undoubtedly come in handy. Not only is buying a home remotely becoming increasingly common these days, but it is slowly and surely becoming the norm. It has been standard practice for some time in the real estate world for sellers to skip the home closing by pre-signing paperwork and having sale proceeds wired directly to a bank account, but now the whole process can be done from afar—by buyers as well as sellers.
Why buy a house remotely?
There are plenty of reasons why you are looking at buying a house remotely, including last-minute job relocations, interstate moves, and instances where distancing is required for public health and safety. And fortunately, innovation in real estate technology—such as video conferencing and e-signatures—makes it easier than ever to buy a home even when you can’t be there.
Buying a house remotely doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some steps to follow to purchase your next home from afar.
Steps to buying a house remotely
- Find the right real estate agent
- Apply for mortgage pre-approval
- Make your wish list
- Close remotely
Find the right real estate agent
|Experience||When speaking to a potential agent, ask them how often if they’ve used a remote sales process. Experience plays a significant role as they should understand how the process works, which tools to use, and the timeline you can expect.|
|Location||Your real estate agent is your absolute best resource when you’re buying a house remotely. Therefore, it’s crucial that you work with someone who knows the local market inside out, and who can be your guide through not just home browsing and virtual showings but also during inspections and closing.|
|Availability||Make sure your Real Estate Agent has the time in their day, and the space on their client roster so that he can give you the attention you deserve. Having them available during regular business hours is extremely helpful, especially when it comes to home inspections and private viewings.|
|Tools and Resources||To be able to buy a house remotely, your Real Estate Agent needs to have the proper tools and technology in place.|
Apply for mortgage pre-approval
Once you’ve found your agent, it’s time to talk to your bank (or mortgage broker.) Getting your mortgage pre-approval is a crucial step, whether you’re buying a house remotely or in-person. While you cannot have a face-to-face meeting, banks and mortgages brokers will set up a remote session with you to discuss your financial situation, including your savings, assets, investments, debts, and your income.
Make your wish list
It’s always important to know what you want—and equally important, what you don’t want—when you’re purchasing a home. In addition to specifics like the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, clarify your preferences around location, amenities, and home condition, being sure to list what your deal breakers are. The more direct that you can be in explaining what you’re looking for in a home, the better job your agent will be able to do at making sure any properties you pursue are in line with your preferences.
Once the inspection has been done, and post-inspection negotiations are worked out between you and the seller, you’ll just have a few remaining steps before the home is officially yours. Neither the buyer nor the buyer’s agent needs to be present for the appraisal, so you’ll have no problem doing this remotely.
The E-Sign Act of 2000 makes your electronic signature just as valid as if you signed the documents in person. Also, advances in technology have made remote closings routine for sellers and very feasible for buyers. If there are any deposits, you’ll also have to make them right away through your online banking account. Your real estate agent will guide you through your closing paperwork and fees until you have the key to your new house in your hand.
The Bottom Line When Buying a House Remotely?
In many ways, this process is the same as purchasing a home in person, but you will require more support and resources from your real estate agent. Remember, finding the right agent is an essential step in buying a home.
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